Thanksgiving Trivia!

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Freedom From Want," 1943Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want” (1943)

Here in the U.S. and in Canada, we celebrate an annual national holiday dedicated to giving thanks for our abundant good fortune.  Our holiday evolved from much older ones celebrating the gathering of the Autumn harvest.  Since we’ve been having this party for a long time, it has gathered many traditions including special foods and activities. Here’s a quiz about some of the more obscure facts related to Thanksgiving. I want you to leave the blog smarter than when you came in! (The answers are at Comment #1.)

  • The first Thanksgiving Day feast between the new immigrants at Plymouth and the resident Wampanoag tribe lasted three days in 1621. They ate venison, game birds, fish and cranberries (in pemmican). The pilgrims brought beer, but what available vegetable was avoided out of superstition?
  • What basic eating utensil was unavailable at that first feast?
  • Two of the Founding Fathers disagreed over the choice for a “national bird”. Thomas Jefferson favored the bald eagle. Who argued in favor of the turkey?
  • Sarah Josepha Hale began petitioning sitting presidents in favor of adopting a national day of thanksgiving in 1847. Abraham Lincoln acted upon her suggestion in 1863, but Sarah Hale is even better known for what work?
  • The National Football League started having big games on the holiday in 1934. That contest was between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. When did the tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving begin?
  • There are many food traditions associated with Thanksgiving Day besides eating turkey. One popular side dish was created in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly and a team of home economists at the Campbell’s Soup Company, to take advantage of two simple ingredients Americans generally had on hand. Name the dish.
  • There’s a tradition of U.S. Presidents periodically “pardoning” a selected turkey that goes back as far as JFK, but officially retiring a bird (or two) to a farm or zoo each year began in 1987. This year’s recipients are named Mac and Cheese. Name any of the previous lucky turkeys.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924. The first giant balloon was introduced in 1927, a likeness of which cartoon character?
  • How many calories (on average) are contained in an American Thanksgiving “one-plate”?

Why do people get drowsy after the meal? Don’t over think it.

big meal

I hope each and every person reading gets some time off for reflection in good company, with ample provisions.

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No Dinner Plans

Originally posted on spirituwellness:

michael-brown-grad-photo

The following is a statement that was made for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Larger Fellowship upon the news of the “No Indictment” decision from the Grand Jury examining the case against Darren Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown.

The tragic irony of the grand jury decision from Ferguson, Missouri coming so close to the Thanksgiving holiday is inescapable. We should be preparing dinner, not a cultural war. In a metaphorical sense, we should be talking about how many more people we can put around the table, not how many more people will be turned away. This ongoing struggle between black and white is a global disgrace and the combination of this decision and the deluge of news that we sift through also highlights how we are asked to “choose” where we put our attentions for justice. You see, the media and the ignorant would have us believe that…

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The Most Radical Reaction to Ebola is Compassion

Originally posted on Dr. Scott Morris:

Over the weekend, my wife, Mary, told me that she intends to get a flu shot this year (which she never does) because she believes it will prevent her from contracting Ebola.

I think she is only partially kidding.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that a nurse in Dallas has contracted Ebola from the patient who died there last week. It was the lead story in my local paper, and I’m guessing that it was on the front page of your go-to news source as well. We can’t look away from disaster.

Or, in this case, perceived disaster.

Ebola is indeed a terrible disease, but I’m convinced that it does not warrant the hysteria it has created in the United States.

Ebola has been linked to Liberia, and anyone from that country is now considered a potential carrier of the disease. Until recently, few Americans could find Liberia on…

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The Butterfly Rebellion

Invisible Mikey:

I’m fascinated by revolutions, new idea movements, paradigm shifts and innovative attempts to alter the course of history.

Originally posted on :

soar-alba2

Soar Alba

By Robin McAlpine

The lairds came to warn us villagers to do as we were told. Then the lords came to warn us villagers to do as we were told. But we were in the fields building a rebellion.

We have now seen, on shaky mobile phone footage, the moment the British Empire finally ended. It ended with two guys on a rickshaw chasing 100 Labour MPs up Buchannan Street playing the Imperial March from Star Wars and informing bemused shoppers that their Imperial Masters Had Arrived. These imperial ‘masters’ have no guns. They rule through deference. Without it they look exactly like what they are; overpaid middle management on a team building away day. (“OK, to get the day started, an icebreaker. Let’s all try and walk up a normal street like we are normal people. No team, not like that. Like NORMAL people.”)

The Daily…

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38th Wooden Boat Festival

 (You can click on the photos to see bigger versions!)

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NY Mag: Read a Powerful Letter About Michael Brown and Ferguson

Invisible Mikey:

Many are writing about the larger issues behind this tragedy. This letter proposes thoughtful ways to improve the future.

Originally posted on Sociologists for Justice:

It’s no surprise that sociologists, perhaps the group of researchers most dedicated to understanding issues of race and inequality, have strong feelings about the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent violence in Ferguson, Missouri. A letter just released by Sociologists for Justice  has been signed by more than 500 of them (and counting), and it’s worth a read, in part because it contains some practical suggestions for how to prevent these sorts of tragedies from occurring in the future.

Full article on our statement: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/08/read-a-powerful-letter-about-ferguson.html

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Depression, suicide, and hope

Invisible Mikey:

This person found a way of viewing today’s sad news through the hopeful eyes of the character and show Doctor WHO.

Originally posted on whoviantheology:

Robin Williams was found dead on August 11th, 2014 and initial reports are speculating that it was a suicide.  No, I was not a hardcore Robin Williams fan though I have seen some of his movies. I also am not one to report on celebrity deaths beyond sharing an article or two on my personal facebook page. But when it comes to suicide, I always pause a bit. I’ve been honest with my struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, even though there continues to be a stigma attached to mental illness. (Depression, touted as a treatable disease, is often dismissed as not serious or as a pity party. Treatable does not mean curable and many people, including me, battle depression on a daily basis with the help of medication, a therapist, and the support of friends, families, and colleagues.)

When I first started this blog, I was in the midst…

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